|Boarding House Blues - E. M. Glucksman|
The owner of a theatrical boarding house is about to go bankrupt, so her tenants put on a show to raise the funds needed to keep the house. Of note mostly for as a document of actual vaudeville acts not long before vaudeville died out completely. Unfortunately, this copy was digitized poorly. The movie was shot flat (1.33:1), but this file seems to be forced to a 1.66:1 ratio, cropping off the top and bottom of the frame slightly, which is very noticeable during some of the acts recorded.
Keywords: race film; independent; musical; vaudeville
|Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. - Alfred N. Sack|
Gertie LaRue (Francine Everett) is a nightclub entertainer from the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. She arrives on the Caribbean island of "Rinidad" to perform as the headliner in a revue at the Paradise Hotel. Gertie has earned the nickname "Dirty Gertie" for the casual nature in which she entices and then humiliates men. On the island, she attracts the attention of two U.S. military officers – a soldier and a sailor – whom she nicknames "Tight Pants" and "High Pockets," respectively...
Keywords: race film; independent; melodrama; burlesque; spencer williams
|Spirit of Youth - Lew Golder|
Based (loosely) on the life of Joe Louis. Except that Louis never lost a professional fight (until after this movie was made, at least). Head of the Production Code office Joseph Breen warned that the film might not get played in the South because it depicted a black man (Joe Louis) defeating several white men in boxing matches.
Keywords: race film; independent; boxing; melodrama; Joe Louis
Downloads: 2,048 (1 review)
|Swing! - Oscar Micheaux|
Mandy Jenkins, an African American cook for a wealthy white family in Birmingham, Alabama, discovers her husband Cornell is having an affair with Eloise Jackson. When she confronts her husband and Eloise at a nightclub, a violent fight ensues. Eloise leaves Birmingham and relocates to Harlem, getting a job as a cabaret vocalist under the stage name Cora Smith. She is followed to Harlem by her husband, Lem, who gets mixed up in the local crime scene...
Keywords: race film; independent; backstage musical; melodrama
|Miracle in Harlem - Jack Goldberg|
There's Danger! Terror! Mystery! With a Killer on the Loose! Julie Weston and her aunt, Hattie, own and operate a candy-store in Harlem. A wealthy business man, Albert Marshall, and his wayward son, Jim Marshall, swindle the women out of the store. Later, Albert Marshall is found murdered, and there are several suspects, including Marshall's secretary and a blackmailer. (from IMDb) Stepin Fetchit is in this film, and (fair warning) his persona is just as irritating and offensive as in his earlie...
Keywords: race film; independent; musical; melodrama; murder mystery; stepin fetchit
|Paradise in Harlem - Jubilee Pictures Corp.|
"Between swing and blues musical numbers, the story of comedian Lem Anderson, whose long-awaited chance to act dramatically vanishes when he witnesses a mob killing and is forced to leave town. Lem becomes a wanderer, then an alcoholic. Finally a chance to play Othello draws him back to Harlem. Is it too late for Ned? Or too soon to suit Rough Jackson's mobsters?" (from the IMDb summary by Rod Crawford) There is another copy on the Archive, but this is a different (and slightly higher quality) e...
Keywords: race film; independent; musical; melodrama; gospel; gangsters; Othello; Shakespeare
Musical with an "all-colored" cast. Low-budget, but charming.
Keywords: Race Film; African-Americans; 1940s; All Black Cast; Musical
Downloads: 3,315 (1 review)
|Lucky Ghost - William Beaudine|
a.k.a. "Lady Luck" Mantan Moreland and F. E. Miller are down at the heels, that is until a craps shoot wins Mantan a gambling casino. Too bad it's haunted by a family of prudish ghosts Complete print from a tape transfer. All-black cast (with one minor exception). The sequel to "Mr. Washington Goes to Town." IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033856/
Keywords: race film; all-black casts; comedy; Mantan Moreland